Category:Deaths from cancer in North Carolina
Pages in category "Deaths from cancer in North Carolina"
The following 70 pages are in this category, out of 70 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 70 pages are in this category, out of 70 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Richard Petty – Richard Lee Petty, nicknamed The King, is a former NASCAR driver who raced in the Strictly Stock/Grand National Era and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. He won the NASCAR Championship seven times, winning a record 200 races during his career, winning the Daytona 500 a record seven times, and winning a record 27 races in the 1967 season alone. Statistically, he is the most accomplished driver in the history of the sport and is one of the most respected figures in motorsports as a whole. He also collected a number of poles and over 700 Top 10 finishes in his 1,184 starts. Petty was the driver to ever win in his 500th race start. He was inducted into the class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. Petty is a second generation driver and his father, Lee Petty, won the first Daytona 500 in 1959 and was also a three-time NASCAR champion. His son Kyle is also a well-known NASCAR driver and his grandson, Adam, was killed in a practice crash at New Hampshire International Speedway on May 12,2000, five weeks after Lees death. Adams brother Austin works on day-to-day operations of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Petty married Lynda Owens in 1958. She died on March 25,2014 at her home in Level Cross, North Carolina at age 72 and they had four children—Kyle Petty, Sharon Petty-Farlow, Lisa Petty-Luck, and Rebecca Petty-Moffit. The family resides in Pettys home town of Level Cross, North Carolina, the Richard Petty Museum was formerly in nearby Randleman, North Carolina but moved back to its original location in March 2014. Petty was born in Level Cross, North Carolina, the son of Elizabeth and Lee Arnold Petty, also a NASCAR driver, and he began his NASCAR career on July 18,1958,16 days after his 21st birthday. His first race was held at CNE Stadium in Toronto, Canada, in 1959, he was named NASCAR Rookie of the Year, after he produced 9 top 10 finishes, including six Top 5 finishes. In Lakewood, Georgia in 1959, Petty won his first race, hours later, Lee was awarded the win. In 1960, he finished 2nd in the NASCAR Grand National Points Race,1963 was his breakout year, winning at tracks like Martinsville and Bridgehampton. Joining in the Chrysler boycott of NASCAR due to the organizing bodys ban of the Hemi engine, Petty Enterprises installed the Hemi in the new compact Barracuda and lettered OUTLAWED on the door. He crashed this car at Southeastern Dragway, in Dallas, Georgia, on February 28,1965, killing a six-year-old boy and injuring seven others. Petty, his father Lee, and Chrysler Corporation faced lawsuits totaling more than $1 million, though Petty, afterwards, a second Hemi Barracuda was built, this time with an altered wheelbase and eventually with Hilborn fuel injection
2. Terry Sanford – James Terry Sanford was a United States politician and educator from North Carolina. A member of the Democratic Party, Sanford was the 65th Governor of North Carolina, Presidential candidate in the 1970s and a U. S. Senator. From 1969 to 1985, Sanford was President of Duke University, an Eagle Scout as a youth, Sanford became an FBI agent after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1939. During World War II, he saw combat in the European Theatre, Sanford was born in 1917 in Laurinburg, North Carolina, the son of Elizabeth Terry and Cecil Leroy Sanford, both of English descent. He became an Eagle Scout in Laurinburgs Troop 20 of the Boy Scouts of America, shortly before he died, Sanford related his Scouting experience to journalist David Gergen and said that it probably saved my life in the war. Boys who had been Scouts or had been in the CCC knew how to look after themselves in the woods, what I learned in Scouts sustained me all my life, it helped me make decisions about what was best. The BSA recognized him with its Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Sanford graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1939 and then served as a special agent in the FBI for two years. He married Margaret Rose Knight on July 4,1942, during World War II, he enlisted as a private in the US Army and later attained the rank of first lieutenant. He parachuted into France with the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment and subsequently fought in the Battle of the Bulge and he was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his bravery and wounds, respectively. Sanford was honorably discharged in 1946, Sanford later served as a company commander with the rank of captain in Company K of 119th Infantry Regiment of the North Carolina Army National Guard from 1948 to 1960. Sanford was an assistant director of the Institute of Government of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1946 until 1948, Sanford served one term as a state senator, and chose not to run for a second term. He ran for governor of North Carolina in 1960, defeating I, beverly Lake, Sr. Malcolm Buie Seawell, and John D. Larkins in the Democratic primary and Robert Gavin in the general election. Elected to a term, Sanford served from January 1961 through January 1965. Driven by his belief that a person could accomplish anything with a good education and he began consolidating the University of North Carolina system to ensure its solvency and strength and oversaw the creation of the North Carolina Community College System. He conceived the idea for the Governors School of North Carolina and he fought for racial desegregation, and even sent his son to a desegregated public school at a time when such a position was politically unpopular and possibly dangerous. He also established the North Carolina Fund under the leadership of George Esser to fight poverty, controversial tax increases were made to finance these educational programs. One such tax, on food, roused much opposition and was decried as regressive by many, the food tax, nicknamed Terrys Tax, and other taxes implemented by Sanford diminished his popularity and were heavily criticized by his political opponents. Governor Sanford was a political ally of President John F. Kennedy
3. Enos Slaughter – Enos Bradsher Slaughter, nicknamed Country, was an American Major League Baseball right fielder. He played for 19-seasons on four major teams from 1938–1942. He is noted primarily for his playing for the St. Louis Cardinals and is best known for scoring the winning run in Game Seven of the 1946 World Series. A ten time All-Star, he has elected to both the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. Slaughter was born in Roxboro, North Carolina, where he earned the nickname Country, and joined the St. Louis Cardinals in 1938 before being traded to the New York Yankees in 1954. When Slaughter was a minor leaguer in Columbus, Georgia, he went running towards the dugout from his position in the outfield, slowed down near the infield, manager Eddie Dyer told him, Son, if youre tired, well try to get you some help. During the remainder of his career, Slaughter ran everywhere he went on a baseball field. In 1937, he had 245 hits and 147 runs scored for Columbus, Slaughter batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was renowned for his swing that made him a reliable contact hitter. Slaughter had 2,383 hits in his career, including 169 home runs. Slaughter played 19 seasons with the Cardinals, Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, during that period, he was a 10-time All-Star and played in five World Series. His 1,820 games played ranks fourth in Cardinals history behind Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock and he presently ranks second in RBIs with 1,148, fifth in ABs with 6,775, and sixth in doubles with 366. Immediately upon return from his service in 1946, he led the National League with 130 RBI. The hit was ruled a double, though most observers felt it should have ruled a single. This play was named #10 on the Sporting News list of Baseballs 25 Greatest Moments in 1999, Slaughter was known for his hustle, especially for running hard to first base on walks, a habit later imitated by Pete Rose and David Eckstein. Slaughter retired from major league baseball in 1959 and he was a player-manager in 1960 for a minor league team in Houston and for Raleigh in 1961. Slaughter coached baseball for Duke University from 1971 to 1977, enos Slaughter is a cousin of Henry Slaughter, southern gospel musician. Slaughter died at age 86, on August 12,2002 and he was scheduled for an autograph appearance in St. Louis, Missouri before he died
4. John Steele (paratrooper) – On the night before D-Day, American soldiers of the 82nd Airborne parachuted into the area west of Sainte-Mère-Église in successive waves. The town had been the target of an attack and a stray incendiary bomb had set fire to a house east of the town square. The church bell was rung to alert the town of the emergency, by 0100 hours, the town square was well lit and filled with German soldiers and villagers when two sticks from the 1st and 2nd battalions were dropped in error directly over the village. The paratroopers were easy targets, and Steele was one of only a few non-casualties. His parachute was caught in one of the pinnacles of the tower, causing the suspension lines of his parachute to stretch to their full length. The wounded paratrooper hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner and he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat. Though injured, Steele survived his ordeal and he continued to visit the town throughout his life and was an honorary citizen of Ste. The tavern, Auberge John Steele, stands adjacent to the square and maintains his memory through photos, letters, Steele died of throat cancer on May 16,1969, in Fayetteville, NC. Bullet holes are visible in the churchs stone walls. Inside, there are stained glass windows, with one depicting the Virgin Mary with paratroopers falling in the foreground, Steele is portrayed by Red Buttons in the film The Longest Day. He also appears in the first Call of Duty video game, obituary, NY Times, May 17,1969 John M. Steele, Ex-Paratrooper Who Landed on Steeple D-Day Dedication to John M. Steele on 505th Regimental Combat Team website
5. Howard Coble – John Howard Coble was a U. S. Representative for North Carolinas 6th congressional district, serving from 1985 to 2015 and he was a member of the Republican Party. The district includes all or portions of ten counties in the part of the state, including portions of Greensboro. Coble was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of Johnnie E. upon discharging from military service, he attended Guilford College, from which he received a history degree. He was a member of the Epsilon Iota Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Coble then moved on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a degree in law. After graduating from college, Coble first worked as an insurance agent and he then spent nearly 20 years as a practicing attorney, and he was also Secretary of Revenue under North Carolina Governor James Holshouser. In 1979, Coble was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives, Coble was first elected to Congress in 1984, narrowly defeating Walter Cockerham in the primary 51%–49%. In the general election, he defeated one-term Democratic incumbent Robin Britt 51%–49%, Coble was likely the beneficiary of long coattails from Ronald Reagan, who carried the district by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. In 1986, he defeated Britt in a rematch, which was an even closer 50. 03%–49. 97%, since then, he has never won re-election with less than 61% of the vote. In July 2008, Coble won the Republican primary unopposed and became North Carolinas longest-serving Republican U. S. congressman, Coble announced in 2013 that he would not run for another term in 2014, and would retire after 30 years in Congress. The NET Act was passed only after the House suspended the rules, Coble was a strong supporter of agriculture and had voted in favor of bills to protect agriculture. Coble opposed further regulation of tobacco because he believed it would hurt North Carolina tobacco planters, Coble took a hard-line position on illegal drugs, and co-sponsored a resolution to oppose the legalization and use of medical marijuana. He also voted for an amendment to authorize drug testing on federal employees, however, he authored a resolution to celebrate the passage of Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Coble was also a member of the Tea Party Caucus, joining Sue Myrick, Coble pledged not to receive any pension from the United States government. He told CBS Up to the Minute, I figured taxpayers pay my salary – not a bad salary, let me fend for myself after the salarys collected. He also stated to CBS, Ive pledged my assurance I wont take the pension, thats between my constituents and me. As far as convicted felons, I guess thats between their constituents and themselves and he was one of two Congressmen, with Ron Paul, to have pledged to decline his pension. However, during the government shutdown in October 2013, Coble said that although 800,000 federal workers are furloughed and not receiving a paycheck, he will still collect his salary due to a requirement of law
6. Buddy Baker – Elzie Wylie Buddy Baker, Jr. was an American NASCAR driver and sports commentator. Elzie Wylie Baker, Jr. was born in Florence, South Carolina, Baker began his NASCAR career in 1959. In 1970, he became the first driver to ever exceed 200 mph on a closed course and this World Record feat was accomplished in the Chrysler Engineering blue No.88 Charger Daytona, which is being restored in Detroit. The same year, with a victory at the Southern 500, during his career, Baker won nineteen races including the 1980 Daytona 500, NASCARs most prestigious race. His victory remains the fastest Daytona 500 ever run, with an speed of 177.602 mph. Baker is one of nine drivers to have won a Career Grand Slam, by winning the four majors – the Daytona 500, Aarons 499, Coca-Cola 600. Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and he is the only one of the eight to not win the championship. He generally raced part-time, competing in every race in three seasons. He owned a car with Danny Schiff from 1985 to 1989 and he competed in two International Race of Champions series. His final race in NASCAR was in 1992, Baker helped run the Buck Baker Racing School with his brother for a number of years. Baker was the first driver to exceed the 200 mph mark on March 24,1970 on a closed course test run and his speed was clocked at 200.447 miles per hour, a record that was broken later that year by Bobby Isaac. It was recently found out that the Isaac car had two four barrel carbs on it, therefore that run was not done in a legal car. From 1991 until 2000, he became a commentator on The Nashville Network and later races produced by their World Sports Enterprises division. After the 2000 season Baker could still be heard on TNN, during 2007, Baker could be heard as the part-time co-host of The Drivers Seat with John Kernan on Sirius Satellite Radio. From 2011 until 2015, he co-hosted Late Shift with Brad Gillie, Baker resigned effective immediately on July 7,2015 due to inoperable lung cancer, stating Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name and he died on August 10,2015 at his home in Catawba County, North Carolina. During the August 2015 race weekend at Michigan International Speedway, all three NASCAR series honored Baker by placing stickers on their cars side to remember the legacy that Baker had left behind. In 1997, Baker joined his father as an inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega and he, previously, had been inducted into the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends in 1995, and into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1997
7. Bob Denver – Robert Osbourne Bob Denver was an American comedic actor. He is known for having portrayed Gilligan on the television series Gilligans Island, Denver was born January 9,1935, in New Rochelle, New York, and raised in Brownwood, Texas. He graduated from Loyola University in Los Angeles, California, with a degree in political science, while at Loyola, he acted in college productions and met fellow student Dwayne Hickman, with whom he later co-starred in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. After graduation, Denver coached physical education and taught mathematics and history at Corpus Christi School and he also worked as a mailman. Most of Denvers acting career was spent working in television, although he appeared in several films. Denver made his debut in 1957, playing a bit part in one episode of The Silent Service. He got the part, and left teaching the year to become a regular on the series. From 1959 to 1963, he appeared on the series as Maynard G. Krebs, Denver later reprised his Maynard G. Krebs role in the television sequels Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis. and Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis. During his time on Dobie Gillis, Denver appeared on the NBC interview program, between the end of Dobie Gillis and the start of Gilligans Island, Denver appeared in an episode of The Farmers Daughter and in the final episode of The Danny Thomas Show. He also had a one-episode role replacing the actor who played Dudley A. Dud Wash and this was done by the network to promote Denvers face and make him more familiar to the viewing audience, since Gilligans Island was about to go on air. Following the cancellation of Dobie Gillis, Denver landed the role on the sitcom Gilligans Island. His role as the well-meaning but bumbling first mate among a group of shipwrecked castaways became the one for which he is most remembered. He also lent his voice to the animated series The New Adventures of Gilligan and its sequel Gilligans Planet. During the 1980s, he re-created the character of Gilligan for numerous appearances, including episodes of ALF, Meego and Baywatch. After Gilligans Island, Denver went on to star in other TV comedy series, including The Good Guys, Dustys Trail, four episodes of Dustys Trail were later combined to create a feature film, The Wackiest Wagon Train in the West. Denvers other TV roles included guest appearances on episodes of Love, American Style, The Love Boat. In 1983, he starred in the television pilot The Invisible Woman as the mad scientist uncle of the title character. Denvers first feature film appearance was in the farce, A Privates Affair
8. Gaetano Faillace – Gaetano Faillace was General Douglas MacArthurs personal photographer during World War II and the American occupation of Japan after World War II. Gaetano Faillace was born September 17,1904, in New York City to Marcello, when photographers were assigned to highly ranked individuals like General MacArthur, they had to be officers, as they would be present alongside many other highly ranked men. Faillace was a sergeant before being promoted to captain when assigned to the general, after he left MacArthurs service he went back to the rank of sergeant but his war commission had progressed during the war and when he retired he jumped ranks to major. On 20 October 1944, troops of Kruegers Sixth Army landed on Leyte while MacArthur watched from the light cruiser USS Nashville and that afternoon he arrived off the beach. The advance had not progressed far, snipers were still active, when his craft grounded in knee-deep water, MacArthur requested a landing craft, but the beachmaster was too busy to grant his request and MacArthur was compelled to wade ashore. It has often claimed that the picture is posed but William J. Dunn who was present during the landing says that rumor is one of the most ludicrous misconceptions to come out of that war. After landing on the beach, MacArthur gave his speech, saying, People of the Philippines. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples, after the surrender of Japan on September 2,1945, America occupied the home islands of Japan. As MacArthur took residence in Tokyo, he decided on a strategy of continuity for the Japanese people. Even though many Japanese and most of America wanted the Emperor put on trial MacArthur thought that keeping the Emperor in his position would offer a symbol for the Japanese people to rally around. If the Japanese people could rally around Hirohito and he could be controlled by the Americans, MacArthur and Emperor Hirohitos staff set up a meeting for 10 am on September 27,1945, to discuss how to save the Emperors throne. When the Emperor and his entourage arrived, American officers offered to take his hat and this seemed to alarm Hirohito, as he was the God Emperor and his normal Japanese staff never took things from him. As the Emperor handed over his hat, MacArthur burst into the room, saying You are very, very welcome, for the officers present, it was the first time they heard the general call anyone sir. MacArthur then moved to shake his hand, and Hirohito bowed so deeply that because of the Emperors small stature the handshake took place above his head, during the meeting Gaetano Faillace took three photos of the two men. One was ruined from MacArthur closing his eyes and another from the Emperors mouth gaping open, when the picture was published in Japanese papers, the Japanese censors were horrified at the image, which showed a towering and informal MacArthur and a small and very formal Emperor Hirohito. To the Japanese, the God Emperor should always be the most prominent person in a picture, the Americans, however, who had forced the Japanese censors to publish the photo, were very pleased as the picture seemed to encapsulate the change that their occupation of Japan represented. In 1983 Faillace released a Japanese book with photographs he took from the occupation, on December 31,1991 he died from complications of cancer in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His children, including his daughters Dr. Deon Faillace, Denise Danaher, notes References Beach, John H. Gaetano Faillace
9. Tim Flock – Julius Timothy Tim Flock was an American stock car racer. He was a two-time NASCAR series champion and he was a brother to NASCARs second female driver Ethel Mobley and Bob and Fonty Flock. Tim Flock finished 5th in NASCAR’s inaugural Strictly Stock race at Charlotte, NASCARs first official season ended with Tim in eighth, Tims brother Fonty Flock in fifth, and his other brother Bob Flock in third in the overall points standing. Tim sat out the 1950 NASCAR season recovering from a four car pile up at Charlotte, returning to racing in 1951, Flock won seven races. 1952 brought eight wins and four poles, at the end of the 1952 NASCAR season, Tim Flock had 106 more points than Herb Thomas, earning Flock his first Grand National Championship title, despite flipping in the final race at West Palm Beach. Flock later joked, I was the driver to ever win a championship upside-down. In 1954, Flock was disqualified despite winning at the Daytona Beach Road Course for illegally screwed carburetor screws,1955 was a record setting year for Flock as well as NASCAR. On the way to Flocks second Grand National Championship title, Flock had 19 poles and 18 victories in 45 races, the 18 victories stood as a record until broken by “The King”, Richard Petty, in 1967. The 19 poles is still the highest number in a NASCAR season, the 1956 season, however, was filled with off-track frustration for Flock, particularly with team owner Carl Kiekhaefer. Despite their combined on-track success, Flock left Kiekhaefers team immediately after his victory in the April 8th race at North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, upon departing from the Kiekhaefer camp, he had compiled 21 triumphs out of his 46 starts with Kiekhaefer. In his final race before retiring Tim Flock was disqualified and banned from NASCAR as a result of having too much solder on his carburetor screw which was illegal and this was widely known by the public to be retaliation by NASCAR management for Flocks support of a NASCAR drivers union. Like Curtis Turner, he faced a ban from NASCAR. He also raced at a USAC event in Concord, North Carolina, Flock was employed by the Ford Motor Company to entertain customers at track events. Flock was reinstated to NASCAR competition in 1966, Flock died of liver and throat cancer on March 31,1998, aged 73, during NASCARs 50th anniversary. Darrell Waltrip honored him in a paint scheme named Tim Flock Special after his death as a tribute to Flock. A month before his death, Flock was honored as one of NASCARs 50 Greatest Drivers and he was inducted in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in May 2006. On May 22,2013, Flock was named member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame for 2014, Flock won the only NASCAR Cup event ever held at Road America in 1956. No other stock car events of any type were held at the track until the 1990s, Tim had a rhesus monkey co-driver named Jocko Flocko with him in his May 16,1953 Grand National win at Hickory Motor Speedway
10. Pat Hingle – Martin Patterson Pat Hingle was an American actor who appeared in hundreds of television shows and feature films. His first film was On the Waterfront in 1954 and he often played tough authority figures. Hingle was a friend of Clint Eastwood and appeared in the Eastwood films Hang em High, The Gauntlet. Martin Patterson Hingle was born in Miami, Florida, the son of Marvin Louise, a schoolteacher and musician, and Clarence Martin Hingle, Hingle enlisted in the United States Navy in December 1941, dropping out of the University of Texas. He served on the destroyer USS Marshall during World War II and he returned to the University of Texas after the war and earned a degree in radio broadcasting in 1949. As a Navy Reservist, he was recalled to the service during the Korean War, Hingle began acting in college, and after graduating, he moved to New York and studied at the American Theatre Wing. In 1952, he became a member of the Actors Studio and this led to his first Broadway show, End as a Man. On Broadway, he originated the role of Gooper in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and he played the title role in the award winning Broadway play J. B. by Archibald MacLeish. He appeared in the 1963 Actors Studio production of Strange Interlude, directed by Jose Quintero and he earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance in Dark at the Top of the Stairs. In 1997, he played Benjamin Franklin in the Roundabout Theatre revival of the musical 1776, with Brent Spiner, hingles first film role was an uncredited part as bartender Jock in On the Waterfront. Later in his career, he was known for playing judges, police officers and he was a guest star on the early NBC legal drama Justice, based on case histories of the Legal Aid Society of New York, which aired in the 1950s. Another notable role was as the father of Warren Beattys character in Splendor in the Grass, which was directed by Elia Kazan, Hingle was widely known for portraying the father of Sally Fields title character Norma Rae. He also played manager Colonel Tom Parker in John Carpenters TV movie Elvis, Hingle had a long list of television and film credits to his name, going back to 1948. Among them were The Fugitive, Carol for Another Christmas, Nevada Smith, Mission, Impossible, Hang Em High, The Gauntlet, Sudden Impact, Road To Redemption, When You Comin Back, Red Ryder. Brewsters Millions, Stephen Kings Maximum Overdrive, The Grifters, Citizen Cohn, The Land Before Time, Wings, Hingle played Dr. Chapman in seven episodes of the TV series Gunsmoke, and Col. Tucker in the movie Gunsmoke, To the Last Man. In 1963, Hingle guest-starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone called The Incredible World of Horace Ford as the title character and he guest starred in the TV series Matlock and Murder, She Wrote. In 1980, he appeared in the police series Stone with Dennis Weaver. He played Commissioner Gordon in the 1989 film Batman and its three sequels and he is one of only two actors to appear in the four Batman films from 1989 to 1997, the other is Michael Gough
11. Benny Parsons – Benjamin Stewart Benny Parsons was an American NASCAR driver, and later an announcer/analyst/pit reporter on SETN, TBS, ABC, ESPN, NBC, and TNT. He became famous as the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, and was a 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and he was the older brother of former NASCAR driver car owner and broadcaster Phil Parsons of Phil Parsons Racing. He was nicknamed BP and The Professor, the latter in part because of his popular remarks and he was the founder of Rendezvous Ridge, a winery in North Carolina, which opened shortly after his death. Parsons was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina and he spent his childhood years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and played football at Millers Creek High School. Following high school, he moved to Detroit, Michigan where his father operated a taxicab company, Parsons worked at a gas station and drove cabs in Detroit before beginning his racing career. While working at the gas station one day, a couple of customers towing a race car invited him to a race track. The driver of the car never showed up for that evenings race, Parsons began his NASCAR career by running a single race in 1964 for Holman-Moody with a young Cale Yarborough. Parsons won the 1968 and 1969 ARCA championships, Parsons had three top-10 finishes in four NASCAR races in 1969. Benny joined the NASCAR circuit full-time in 1970 with crew chief and he had 23 top-10 finishes in 45 races, a pole at Langley Field Speedway, and finished eighth in the final point standings. He raced in the No.72 L. G, Parsons had 18 top-10 finishes in 35 starts in 1971, including his first win at South Boston Speedway. He finished eleventh in the points, in 1972 he had 19 top-10 finishes in 31 races. He finished fifth in the points standings. In 1973 he won the NASCAR Championship with only one win, Parsons consistency likely won him the championship, he had 21 top-10 and 15 top-5 finishes in the 28 events. His improbable return to the track after an early crash cemented his championship at Rockingham and he saw his championship hopes start to fade as he was involved in a lap 13 crash and his car was heavily damaged. He took to the pits to muster whatever he could out of the car, the rest of the garage was hoping to see the underdog unseat the mighty Richard Petty and joined in to help Parsons crew put the car back together. Parsons miraculously got back on the track 136 laps later and completed enough laps to finish 25th, Richard Petty, with the championship in his sights after winning the pole and seeing Parsons accident, had engine trouble and was relegated to a 35th-place finish. The poor performance dropped Petty all the way to fifth in the final standings and he finished 67 points behind the champion. Parsons also became the person to win both ARCA and NASCAR championships